Everything that is wrong in the world today is the fault of Roman Catholics. As a devoted and practicing Catholic, this broad stroke implicates me as part of the responsibility.
But unlike the opinion of our current pontiff or the Cardinal in my diocese, we aren’t to blame because we don’t adopt the world’s views, we are to blame because we do.
Even self-declared “good Catholics” find it is easy to point out the speck in the leftist’s eye, and not see the log jam of error that has poured forth from the altar of God and into our streets.
Environmental destruction. Mental Illness. Rampant divorce. Pornography. Abortion. Weak men. Lack of critical thought. Lack of art. Lack of respect, dignity, and love. Every physical and spiritual dysfunction in society is the fault of Popes, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and Parishioners, in that order.
A Church that is built on objective hierarchical authority can’t blame Mrs. Jones for not dragging their teenager out of bed on Sunday morning. Likewise, a Faith that dogmatizes personal responsibility leaves no room for Mr. Smith to blame Pope Francis for their wife’s conversion to Reiki.
As goes the Church, so goes the world. We wonder why young people aren’t going to Mass anymore? Yet we continue to renew and revise the liturgical celebration that has spent decades scandalizing little ones from believing in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. (Matthew 18:6). Pope Francis has gone so far as to “cancel” the Old Rite.
I’m equally to blame. I spend 10% of my day trying to be a Saint and 90% of it justifying my sins. I grin and smile when I hear blasphemy or see sacrilegious acts in my own Parish. The flood of mercy and drought of justice has even infected my own will.
Out of the spiritual works of mercy, I condemn bad Catholics for being the source and summit of our family, nation and world’s woes.
Here are 7 things that bad Catholics need to STOP doing if they want to truly help themselves and others:
- Stop receiving communion without confession
“…he is eating and drinking damnation to himself if he eats and drinks unworthily, not recognizing the Lord’s body for what it is.” (1 Cor 11:29)
This is a perfect example of how the Church’s Shepherds failed their flock. The current epistle reading for Holy Thursday comes from St. Paul’s teaching on the Holy Eucharist in Corinthians 11. Unfortunately, since the liturgical reform of the 1960’s the epistle stops at verse 26, omitting verses 27-29 as seen above.
In lock step, the Faithful stopped going to confession, became entitled to receive communion as a routine ritual and brought sacrilegious condemnation to the whole world.
2. Stop Touching the Holy of Holies
“They had reached the threshing-floor of Nachon, when the oxen began to kick and tilted the ark to one side; whereupon Oza put out his hand and caught hold of it. Rash deed of his, that provoked the divine anger; the Lord smote him, and he died there beside the ark.” (2 Sam 6:6)
Why would God kill someone for trying to prevent the Ark of the Covenant from falling? Because God sets the rules, not man. God understands that man, existing in space and time, needs symbolism and ritual to elevate them spiritually, beyond the material world. So when history produces men and women who are willing to die in order to prevent someone unholy from touching the sacred host, it wasn’t because these people were less educated, it is because their lex vivendi was formed by their lex orandi and lex credendi. Restore the Catholic norms to the sacred rubrics, rituals and rules that made the Roman Catholic Church the bearer of the light to nations and our young men will fall to their knees once again and beg forgiveness from the Lord of Lords.
3. Stop Talking in the Chapel
This really irks me. I mean, common man. I’m trying to pray the Holy Rosary before Mass and I can’t even hear my murmured Hail Mary over your “Over there!, We have 2 seats over there!” I understand that we want to enforce to the holy law of social distancing, but really, could we not do this is a much more gentle and classy manner. How am I going to teach my toddlers that God is found in the silence when their elders are shouting across the Chapel like promoting specials on aisle 3.
4. Stop Getting Divorced
“Why then, they said, did Moses enjoin that a man might give his wife a writ of separation, and then he might put her away? He told them, it was to suit your hard hearts that Moses allowed you to put your wives away; it was not so at the beginning of things. And I tell you that he who puts away his wife, not for any unfaithfulness of hers, and so marries another, commits adultery; and he too commits adultery, who marries her after she has been put away.”
In other words, before Christ died for us, we had no example of unconditional love. Since Christ, there is no excuse. Divorce is not merely a civic amendment to a legal contract, it is a tearing apart of the new creation that was formed when they “became one flesh”. It is death. Death for the individual. Death for the family. I know this type of language offends, but the Church isn’t in the business of delighting people, they are in the business of saving souls.
5. Stop Letting Girls Be Altar Boys
“It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself” (Pius XII, encyclical, Mediator Dei)
It is for this reason, and scriptural continuity that women cannot be priests. The priesthood is an active role, not passive or receptive; to put crudely, analogous to their reproductive organs. The priests speaks the words of the Gospel and consecration. The priest gives the Holy Eucharist to the Parishioners. The Bride of Christ, His Church, receives what the Priest offers. The purpose of altar boys should be to train people for the Priesthood, not get community hours. For this reason, it seems unfair to have girls participate in the sanctuary only to be told that they can’t be a priest when they get older.
6. Stop Teaching Heresy
“Their worship of me is vain, for the doctrines they teach are the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9)
The appeal of Catholicism is that it is the point where the Jew and Greek collide. Meaning, that nothing contradicts the reason of the Greek but it must extend into the faith of the Jew. Faith being the extended point beyond what our finite minds and experience can no longer reason. When you begin teaching things that contradict reason, sharp minds will see through your illusions. The countless unreasonable claims of various Protestant sects are directly responsible for the new atheist movement. Young people trust science because it is reasonable. They don’t trust faith alone.
On the other hand, if you are not stretched beyond reason and require faith, your religion is no more than a humanistic project. People didn’t accept martyrdom for a reasonable humanism.
If the Catholic brand being taught is too humanistic or doesn’t conform to reason, it is a bad brand. Stop teaching it.
7. Stop Being Lukewarm
“I know of thy doings, and find thee neither cold nor hot; cold or hot, I would thou wert one or the other. Being what thou art, lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, thou wilt make me vomit thee out of my mouth.” (Rev 3:15-16)
Modern heresy usually stems from this lukewarmness. Catholic education has become a lukewarm cesspool of pagan worship and sexual immorality. Homilists imitate Neo from the Matrix when they bend over backwards to dodge any controversial issue. How is that when the Novus Ordo readings for the 27th Sunday in ordinary time are both specifically related to the indissolubility of marriage (Gen 2:18-24, Mark 10:2-12), the priest doesn’t mention marriage in the homily. Imagine how important it would be for a man or woman contemplating divorce, sitting in the pew, to hear their priest tell them that through the power of the Holy Spirit, their marriage will survive. Instead, they receive verbal gymnastics walking the high beam of social justice.
Personally, I don’t believe in mixed messages. Sometimes I might deliver things in a less than gentle way, but I try to always speak truth. As a result, I have gained the respect of my children, my business partners, my clients and my community. Imagine the respect the Catholic Church would gain by simply “letting their yes be yes or their no be no.”
I’ll stop at 7 lest I appear scrupulous!
I am sorry if you were offended by this post and welcome a dialogue on any of these issues.